But I have to take umbrage with a post from Thursday on 10 potential breakout stars for the 2012-2013 season.
Frankly, I don’t have an issue with who Brennan included — although I would argue that a certain CBS writer’s love affair with Nate Wolters (Naters gonna Nate) eliminates him from breakout contention — as much as I do with who wasn’t included.
Namely: James Michael McAdoo.
McAdoo is the next great North Carolina front court presence. A consensus top ten recruit in the Class of 2011, the 6-foot-9 McAdoo was stuck on the bench behind Tyler Zeller and John Henson last season. In just under 16 minutes, McAdoo averaged 6.1 points and 3.9 boards, which projects out to 15.5 points and 9.9 boards per 40 minutes. Those aren’t bad numbers, especially considering that McAdoo was rarely the first option when he was on the court.
McAdoo also played some of his best basketball late in the season. He excelled in John Henson’s stead with the big man was forced out of the lineup with a wrist injury in the ACC tournament. He went for 17 points in a win over Vermont in the first round of the NCAA tournament and notched 15 points in 19 minutes against Kansas (and Thomas Robinson) in the Elite 8.
In seven postseason games, McAdoo matched his season total (three) for double-digit scoring efforts. Just imagine what he’ll be capable of as the focal point of the front court on a team that lost its four best players to the NBA.
How good is he? There was talk that he could have been a lottery pick had he left for the draft this year. There cannot be a breakout players list without McAdoo on it.
A couple other names worth noting here:
Anthony Collins, South Florida: As a freshman, Collins’ ability to create off the dribble played a huge role in USF’s emergence as an NCAA tournament team. He played a similar role to that of Jordan Taylor at Wisconsin, only he was much less efficient. He was also only a freshman.
Seth Tuttle, Northern Iowa: Ben Jacobson’s team returns quite a bit of talent from last season, including leading scorer Anthony James. But the guy to keep an eye on is Tuttle, who was the team’s second-leading scorer as a freshman despite playing just 22 minutes per game.
CJ Wilcox, Washington: The kid can certainly score, and there will be quite a few more shots to go around with Tony Wroten and Terrence Ross in the NBA.
Adonis Thomas, Memphis: Thomas spent much of his freshman season trying to figure out his role on the Tigers. By the end of January, that role was easily defined, as he battled a broken ankle that kept him out for over a month. Thomas has the talent and the skill set to ease Memphis’ concerns about losing Will Barton.